Welcome Mr. Xi Jinping: crimson carpet for the Chinese president in Serbia and Hungary | EUROtoday

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The facade of the Genex Tower, an imposing 35-story skyscraper, the tallest in Belgrade, was lined with a big hologram in China's nationwide colours. Below it was a message: “A warm welcome to our distinguished Chinese friends.” A sea of ​​Chinese flags of all sizes have been displayed on streets and highways. Tens of 1000’s of residents of the Serbian capital waved them vigorously as they enthusiastically cheered the arrival of the illustrious visitor. It appeared like a scene from a Berlanga film, however with a customer from the Far East who didn't go by. The cry gave the impression to be unanimous: welcome, Mr. Xi Jinping.

Serbia gave the president of China a present on Wednesday a fawning and colourful welcome get together. Similar scenes are being skilled this Thursday in Hungary. Xi has been obtained in type, with one other mass tub, in Budapest. The chief of the Asian superpower, who travels accompanied by an uncommon entourage of greater than 400 officers and senior members of the Communist Party, together with a number of ministers, has scored a diplomatic contact with this effusive reception from his two principal allies inside a Europe that threatens Beijing with a commerce battle.

While the principle European leaders attempt to keep a sure distance and have utilized protectionist insurance policies to restrict China's affect on the continent, the governments of the nationalists Viktor Orban (Hungary) and Aleksandar Vucic (Serbia) courtroom and open all their doorways to Beijing, wanting to deepen financial ties.


Xi Jinping arrived in Belgrade with 29 succulent financial cooperation agreements and Budapest with one other 16. Both international locations, recipients of two thirds of the entire Chinese funding in Europe within the final twenty years, decide to proceed supporting the brand new Silk Road , the flagship infrastructure challenge of the Chinese president that may finance the longer term practice connection between the 2 capitals.

At the stops in Serbia and Hungary, Xi has not needed to cope with delicate points like these he mentioned on Monday in Paris about help for Russia, disputes over electrical automobile subsidies and human rights. Although publicly and privately he was additionally courted by Emmanuel Macron, who’s conscious of France's want to keep up good business relations and the growing weight of the Asian large on the turbulent geopolitical desk.

After 5 years with out setting foot within the European yard, Xi needed to convey a number of messages with this journey: the Chinese Government seeks to reverse the good affect of the United States within the previous continent, it desires to make it clear that the decoupling it promotes won’t be simple. Brussels to cut back financial dependence on China and questions NATO's position as guarantor of collective protection.

On this final level, the Chinese chief was very clear in agreeing his arrival in Serbia with the twenty fifth anniversary of the NATO bombing to the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, during which three Chinese journalists died. “We should never forget this. The Chinese people value peace, but we will never allow such tragic history to be repeated,” Xi wrote in a letter printed in a Serbian newspaper.

Xi visited the previous embassy complicated on Wednesday to inaugurate the Chinese Cultural Center, one of many largest in Europe, whereas some newspapers in Beijing recalled that it was American planes that dropped the bombs and that they don’t consider the official model. that it was an accident.

With President Vucic, the Chinese chief explored a free commerce settlement signed by each international locations and reiterated Beijing's dedication to proceed financing roads, bridges and new amenities. They additionally talked in regards to the railway paid for by China that may join Belgrade and Budapest, and that may also have a hyperlink with the port of Piraeus, in Greece, additionally managed by China.

But the Chinese initiatives which might be of most concern in Brussels are those who Xi is supervising on his journey to Hungary, a rustic that’s midway between its membership within the EU and NATO, and its closeness to China and Russia. Like Beijing, Orban's Government has positioned itself towards US and EU sanctions to Vladimir Putin's regime for the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and continues to purchase most of its gasoline from Moscow.

While the European Commission is investigating Chinese state subsidies to the electrical automobile business and is contemplating growing tariffs on the import of those vehicles from its present 10% to guard the European market, Orban is making ready to open his nation to Chinese producers.

The Hungarian Prime Minister will accompany Xi Jinping to the southern metropolis of Pcs to announce that the Chinese firm Great Wall Motor will open the primary Chinese electrical automobile manufacturing facility within the EU there.